Google unveils three new members of the Nexus family

Google unveils three new members of the Nexus family

One day ahead of Apple’s highly-anticipated iPad event that will see the company introduce a range of new products, Google announced its own batch of new products. Both the Nexus 6 smartphone and the Nexus 9 tablet have been expected for some time, but the Nexus Player, Google’s answer to Apple TV, was actually a big surprise.

The Motorola-developed Nexus 6 will be one the biggest phablets on the market at a whopping 5.96-inches, bigger than both Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3. The phone comes equipped with a 493 ppi AMOLED Quad HD display, a 13-megapixel rear camera, a 2-megapixel front facing camera, a Quad-Core 2.7Ghz Snapdragon 805 processor, dual front facing speakers, and a 3220 mAh battery.

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Google is collecting health data for its revolutionary new genetic study

Google is collecting health data for its revolutionary new genetic study

Google’s got a big new project and it’s you. Well, not just you, but a genetic and molecular study of humanity that aims to grasp at what a healthy human should be. It’s in its early days, collecting anonymous data from 175 people, but it plans to expand to thousands later.

The project is headed up by molecular biologist Andrew Conrad, who pioneered cheap HIV tests for blood-plasma donations. According to the WSJ, the team at Google X current numbers between 70 and 100, encompassing experts in physiology, biochemistry, optics, imaging and molecular biology.

In the study, which will eventually be expanded to thousands of participants, Google X’s Dr. Andrew Conrad and a team of as many as 100 scientists in varying fields will collect anonymous molecular and genetic data in order to determine the idea traits of a healthy individual. These samples will come in the form of tissue, tears, urine, and more which will be collected this summer.

The Baseline project will apparently take in hundreds of different samples, with Google using its information processing talents to expose biomarkers and other patterns – the optimistic result hopefully being faster ways of diagnosing diseases. Biomarkers has typically been used with late-stage diseases, as these studies have typically used already-sick patients.

“He gets that this is not a software project that will be done in one or two years,” said Dr. Sam Gambhir, who is working with Dr. Conrad on the project. “We used to talk about curing cancer and doing this in a few years. We’ve learned to not say those things anymore.” Information from the project will remain anonymous: Google said that data won’t be shared with insurance companies, but the shadow of privacy issues hang over pretty much anything the company touches.

Baseline started this summer, initially collecting fluids such as urine, blood, saliva and tears from the anonymous guinea pigs. Tissue samples will be taken later. “With any complex system, the notion has always been there to proactively address problems,” Dr. Conrad said. “That’s not revolutionary. We are just asking the question: If we really wanted to be proactive, what would we need to know? You need to know what the fixed, well-running thing should look like.”

Dr. Conrad expects medicine will be improved by the mountains of new information that can now be collected. This fits with Google’s original mission of organizing the world’s information and making it universally accessible and useful, he said. “We shouldn’t put a slash through our mission statement and say that health care is excluded,” Dr. Conrad added. Read more about the story here.

 

 

Could Google Stock hit $2000?

Google Stock

It’s pretty impossible to conceive, isn’t it. How could any tech stock triple in price in less than two years when it’s at that level. Sure, stocks jump up by over 200% in much shorter periods of time, but not when they’re already over $1000. It’s not possible, right?

Actually, in the case of Google, their current projects could do more damage than just $2000. That could be shooting themselves short. You see, they made it where they are today through their core businesses: search, mobile, and advertising. Those are small compared to some of their other endeavors including health, energy, and connectivity.

Don’t be surprised to see them end 2014 with a value more than double their already-gigantic stock value.

According to The Street:

The game really changes, however, when one of those infamous Google side projects turns into another massive revenue generator distinct from search and advertising. If that ever comes to, $2,000 might be a conservative price prediction.

Read More: The Street

For YouTube-Only Users, Google has Failed

Failure

Google has always wanted to be the center of the online universe. They’ve recently wanted to become the center of the offline world as well, but that’s a different story. Their latest move towards online domination comes at the price of its own users and they aren’t taking it very well.

YouTube has remained independent of Google proper for a long time. The switch to make them a full Google property started in 2011 when they started requiring Gmail accounts in order to access all of the features of YouTube. This was an annoyance but it was only the beginning to the bigger play which they just unveiled in the last month and a half.

Now, Google+ accounts are required in order to get the full scope of features, including commenting. If this surprises people, that’s because they didn’t understand the goals of the company. They aren’t interested in how funny your comments are. They’re only interested in your activities and the best way to control monitor those activities is through their social network. Now, if you want to play, you have to pay in the form of personal tracking and data.

This makes many YouTube-only users unhappy. In essence, Google sucked them in and now it has failed them by forcing something onto something that they didn’t really want. Don’t expect Google to change it back, either. This is their path. It’s been their path since before Larry Page took over the day-to-day operations of the company. It’s not going to change any time soon.

According to Guardian Express:

For the first time in eight years, YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim has spoken out against Google’s updates to the website. Instead of uploading a video, Karim merely posted a passive aggressive question to his personal account:

“Why the **** do I need a Google+ account to comment on a video?”

Read More: Guardian Express

When Local Search Goes Terribly Wrong

Local search has become a hot niche within the overall search landscape. Web searchers want to easily access data about what’s around them as efficiently as possible. As a result, more local search tools are popping up.

Whatsopen.com is one of these new local search destinations. Originally released at the beginning of the year in “Beta,” WhatsOpen’s only unique feature was its claim to provide hours of operation data for businesses that appeared for a user’s search query. Unfortunately, upon using the site for only a few seconds it became clear that the initial version of Whats Open had completely inaccurate and useless data, and had little more to offer than a cute frog logo and some fluffy language hyping their supposed testing in China and a pending mobile application just around the corner. [Read more…]